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Giants in Early Australia

Marshall writes: See this website, and Australian finds tools and fossils of giant Australians!
Yowie

Edward: The author of the above article, “And There Were Giants” (published in the Psychic Australian, Oct. 1976) is Rex Gilroy, a believer in pyramids lying far beneath the seas and lots of other unusual stuff to say the least. See Gilroyʼs homepage

Note that the photos in Gilroyʼs article are all of himself and his so-called “discoveries,” namely a few large rocks and some casts of what he claims are genuine “giant human footprints.” Rex vainly tries to “link” his discoveries with those of the famous anthropologist, Dr. Ralph von Koenigswald, who discovered fossilized teeth and jaw remains of the largest known species of ancient ape, Giganopithecus.

Problems

  1. Rex cites only the most exagerrated height figures for Gigantopithecus. Gigantopithecus (of the Middle Pleistocene of what is now northern Vietnam and southern China) featured males that stood an estimated 9 ft tall and weighed about 272 kg 600 lb. Please note that it is risky in the case of large primates to correlate tooth size and jaw depth of primates with their height and body weight, and Gigantopithecus may have had a disproportionately large head, jaws and teeth for his body size. So it could have been smaller than 9 ft. tall. And the only Gigantopithecus remains that have been discovered so far are three partial lower jaws and more than 1,000 teeth.

  2. Rex wants to believe that the fossilized teeth and jaw remains of Gigantopithecus point to it having been human. It was not. See, “The Ape That Was: Asian Fossils Reveal Humanityʼs Giant Cousin” by Russell L. Ciochon for a detailed discussion of why Gigantophithecus was a species of ape.

  3. Rex believes his rocks are “tools,” yet I donʼt see any chisel marks or even usage marks on those mishapen rocks that Rex picked up. (And if young-earth creationists believe in “giants before the Flood” and that Rexʼs “human giant” was one of them, they ought to also consider the old adage “sinks like a stone,” and ask themselves how Rexʼs huge “stone tools” floated on the waves during “The Flood of Noah.”)

  4. Rexʼs so-called genuine “human footprints” are flat, they have no arch, the toes looked splayed in a fake fashion. Just check out these photos of them at Rexʼs page

In short his “human footprints” lack any true anatomical features. And furthermore, he apparently found them lying on the topmost surface of the land, the prints were not dug up beneath any sediments. And he claims they were made recently, and that such creatures are alive now. He calls these creatures “Yowies.” Below is a story of someone who took a trip with Rex in the outback looking for evidence of his beloved “Yowie.”

The yowie, on the other hand, has left only meager traces of its supposed existence, like those of other hairy man-beasts reported around the world. These include the Himalayan yeti, the North American sasquatch, and similar creatures alleged to inhabit remote regions of China, Russia, southeast Asia, and elsewhere.
The yowie is a fearsome, hairy creature of Aboriginal mythology. Also called Doolagahl (“great hairy man”), it is venerated as a sacred being from the time of creation which the Aborigines call the Dreamtime. An alleged sighting by a hunting party of settlers in 1795 was followed by increased reports from the mountainous regions of New South Wales [thatʼs a region of Australia, not Britain] in the nineteenth century. For example, in 1875 a coal miner exploring in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia reportedly stalked a hairy, apelike animal for a distance before it finally eluded him. Sightings of the yowie mounted as settlers penetrated the countryʼs vast interior, and yowie hunter Rex Gilroy (1995, 197) now notes that his files “bulge with stories from every state.”

The self-described “‘father’ of yowie research,” Gilroy (1995, 202) boasts the acquisition of some 5,000 reports together with a collection of footprint casts, but he complains of “a lifetime of ridicule from both ignorant laymen and scientists alike.” When Peter Rodgers and I ventured into the Blue Mountains, we experienced something of the prevalent local skepticism at the information center at Echo Point (in the township of Katoomba). Staffers there were emphatic that the yowie was a mythical creature pursued by a few fringe enthusiasts. (To them yowies exist only as popular toys and chocolate figures marketed by Cadbury.) Nevertheless, to Gilroy “the Blue Mountains continues to be a hotbed of yowie man-beast activities-a vast region of hundreds of square miles still containing inaccessible forest regions seldom if ever visited by Europeans.” The fabled creatures are known there, he says, as the “Hairy Giants of Katoomba” and also as the “Killer Man-Apes of the Blue Mountains” (Gilroy 1995, 212).

In the Katoomba bushland, Peter and I took the celebrated “steepest incline railway in the world” (built as a coal mine transport in 1878) down into Jamison Valley. The miserable weather gave added emphasis to the term rainforest through which we “bushwalked” (hiked) west along a trail. We passed some abandoned coal mines that Peter humorously dubbed “yowie caves,” before eventually retracing our route. We saw no “Hairy Giants of Katoomba” but, to be fair, we encountered little wildlife. The ringing notes of the bellbird did herald our visit and announce that we were not alone.

Resuming our drive we next stopped at Meadlow Bath, an historic resort area overlooking the Megalong Valley-also reputed yowie country (Gilroy 1995, 217-218). From there we surveyed the countryside which was, however, largely shrouded in fog. We continued on to Hartley, then took a narrow, winding road some 44 kilometers to Jenolan Caves. Gilroy (1995, 219) states that the Aborigines believed the caves were anciently used as yowie lairs, and he cites reported sightings and discoveries of footprints in the region.

We passed through the Grand Arch, a majestic limestone-cavern entranceway into a hidden valley, and surveyed the spectacular grotto called Devilʼs Coachhouse, continuing our cryptozoological pursuit. We searched the surrounding mountainous terrain (see figure 3) for signs of the elusive yowie, again without success. Here and there the raucous laughter of the kookaburra seemed to mock our attempt. An employee told us he had worked at the site for three years without seeing either a yowie or the innʼs resident “ghost,” indicating he believed in neither.

Failing to encounter our quarry, we ended our hunt relatively unscathed-soaked, to be sure, and I with a slightly wrenched knee. But consider what might have been: headlines screaming, “Skeptics mauled by legendary beast!”-a tragic way to succeed, certainly, and with no guarantee, even if we survived, that we would be believed! Even Gilroy conceded (1995, 202) that “nothing short of actual physical proof-such as fossil or recent skeletal remains or a living specimen-will ever convince the scientific community of the existence of the ‘hairy man.’” But that is as it should be: In many instances the touted evidence for Bigfoot-type creatures-mostly alleged sightings and occasional footprints-has been shown to be the product of error or outright deception (Nickell 1995, 222-231). Cryptozoologists risk being thought naïve when they too quickly accept the evidence of “manimal” footprints. “Some of these tracks,” insists Gilroy (1995, 224), “have been found in virtually inaccessible forest regions by sheer chance and, in my view, must therefore be accepted as authentic yowie footprints.”

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